A series of images from my online dating profile


I am jumping into the water. What a guy.

I am in a third world country singlehandedly rebuilding the burned-out orphanage, projecting an aura which combines rugged practicality and affable altruism. I am tanned, buff and shirtless. A photogenic child is tugging upon my goatee.

I am at the festival having all of the fun. Look at it! Look at the fun I am having! It is controlled fun occurring within tightly defined parameters, and definitely not messy or destabilising. I’m covered from head to toe in glitter and sporting an outsized sombrero. It is the magic hour and everything crackles with possibility. Lense flare burst through the gauze of my fairy wings as I delicately pluck my ukulele. I am Dionysius incarnate and my companions gaze upon me with love and all-too evident arousal.

Face square to the camera, half in shadow. A mysterious look flickers across my face. I am absently petting a panther.

I am practicing embroidery in the drawing room, demure and yet somehow slightly coquettish. The lid on the ornately decorated harpsichord which dominates the room is invitingly open, a fiendishly difficult piece by Rameau on the music stand.

Reaction shot: the snowglobe is falling from Charles Foster Kane’s fingers on the conspicuously large plasma screen. A single tear has squeezed its way through the underside of my impeccably stylish half-moon glasses. A liveried servant waits for the film to finish, an urgent communique addressed to “Herr Doktor” in his gloved right hand.

“Yet another photo of Machu fucking Picchu” you think, before gasping with stunned incomprehension at the miraculous restoration of the city to its former glory. I am striding purposefully over the mountain top towards the silhouetted figure of an Incan emissary, the burnished gold of his face mask aflame with the first rays of the sunrise.

I am smiling insouciantly, heedless of pain whilst the tattooist completes his task. My macbook is perched precariously on my lap, work on a forthcoming TED talk presentation clearly underway. The needle dances around a partially inked photorealistic image of a stunningly beautiful face. It is your face, my love.

I am in front of a temple on a mountaintop with my sturdy yet svelte legs wrapped behind my head in an eye-watering yoga position. Shaven-headed acolytes have gathered and are clearly mesmerised by my absolute serenity. The various depth fields within the image combine to create an impossibly pulsating mandala which begins to burrow its way out of your computer screen, slowly sucking the rest of the room into its writhing depths. A gong chimes in your mind. You suddenly notice the gap between my knees and the ground. There is no computer in front of you and there never was. You are a monk in Tang dynasty China and you have just achieved enlightenment.

The portal made of pure light is opening above my head as I survey your reality for the last time. I have learned so much about human love during my brief sojourn in this realm. I am to be uploaded into a timeless emerald capsule buried deep within the vast nothingness which existed before the universe began, thus removing a plethora of possible romantic permutations from the multiverse in a scrupulously planned potentiality harvest, the purpose of which is frustratingly opaque to your limited perceptions. I am still looking for my partner in crime.

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